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Groupon Inc names Kal Raman as COO

Kal Raman

Groupon Inc.,  the wold’s largest daily deals company, has appointed Kal Raman as its new chief operating officer at a time when it is facing hiccups in expanding its business overseas. Raman, a 20-year veteran in technology and retail business, is an alumnus of Guindy Engineering College, Chennai, and was previously Groupon’s senior vice-president, global sales and operations.

He had joined the firm in April and will report to chief executive Andrew Mason while overseeing the company’s global sales and operations.

“In a very short time, Kal has had a significant impact on increasing the number and quality of local businesses using the Groupon platform to the benefit of Groupon customers around the world,” said Andrew Mason, CEO, Groupon. “We are already seeing progress in Europe and Kal will be instrumental in leading our company as we deploy tools and technologies that will help us continue to grow both Groupon and the categories in which we operate.”

Previously, Raman worked as Vice President of Global Fulfilment at eBay. Before that, he served as CEO of GlobalScholar, a leader in enterprise software to K-12 public schools. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President at Amazon, responsible for driving its global non-media business for retailers and sellers. He also led Amazon’s retail technology and marketing units.

Before joining Amazon, Raman was CEO of drugstore.com where he joined as CIO. He also held several management roles at Wal-Mart.

After a high profile public listing, Groupon has shed over 75 per cent of its market value as it has been facing growth pangs and renewed question mark over its business model.

In India, the firm recently rebranded its operations from Crazeal to Groupon India. This came just a year after  changing the name of its previous avatar SoSasta, a local firm it acquired to enter the country, to Crazeal. The Indian venture claims to be doing quite well in a market, which has consolidated with the shakeup, weeding out few players. It local operations chief expects the business to be profitable in a year (read here for more on that )

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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